Overdue Update

Anyone who’s read this blog recently (this past year) can probably guess why I’ve been absent for the past several weeks. Yes! My brain has been stuck on house-house-house-apartments-house-house-apartments-house-house…

We’ve been to Tennessee twice since I last blogged, and there’s been a lot of progress on the house. All three people who read this are probably looking for pictures, so who am I to disappoint them?

The exterior painting is mostly done, with the exception of the porch posts and deck railings, and a few spots of trim. Also, the builder finally got rid of the big dumpster in front so I can finally get a decent photo:


They’ve mostly been working inside this past month. They have stained the beams, installed the tongue-and-groove ceiling in the great room, master bedroom, and my office, and have put up most of the window and door trim. Ahhh, the smell of Minwax in the evening…

When we were there in early May, our daughter and her partner joined us. It was the first time they’d been to the property, and they loved it! We went for a hike around the land. There is an old, fallen-down farmhouse on the other side of the ridge from where we’re building, and our daughter found the outhouse that went with it. She also found wild roses along our driveway, and there were wild strawberries growing on the other side of the ridge. Fun discoveries!

A lot more had been done when DH and I returned last week. Kitchen cabinets were in, and so were the built-ins for my office!


And in case you’re wondering, no, our entire house is not being painted mauve. That’s the primer (which was weird to me, as I’ve always seen white primer).

In addition to the house stuff, there’s also been some big changes in our real estate investments (aka my retirement). We sold the 16-unit building we owned here in Ohio, which leaves us owning only our house here. We then bought two small complexes in Tennessee, one with 10 units, the other with 13. There is a lot of paperwork involved in both selling and buying, and I’m the one who handles that, so… apartments have been very much on my mind. It helps that the new buildings came with property management in place, and they look like they really  have their act together, so once I get online banking and a few bill payments set up, our work with these should be minimal.

We’ve also started working on our current house, getting it ready to sell. My husband’s been patching walls and painting, and we’ve started to pack away personal items and get rid of clutter. We’ve already taken a load of outdoor stuff to Tennessee, and will take more once the house is under lock and key.

What I’ve Been Reading: Of course I’ve still been reading! I can’t go to sleep at night without reading first, kind of like how Beavis and Butthead can’t sleep without TV (thumbs up if you get that one!). I’m too lazy to link them all or find covers, so I’ll just list them. There were a couple of additional non fiction books I started but did not finish, that are not listed here. I highly recommend all of the books below!

  1. Soldier’s Duty by Patty Jansen. Third in her Return of the Arghyrians science fiction series, which I really enjoyed.
  2. Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I found this one really helpful in seeing how someone else has dealt with this and still manages to produce a lot.
  3. Heir’s Revenge by Patty Jansen. Fourth and final book in the Return of the Arghyrians series.
  4. “Savannah’s Destiny” by Stacy McKitrick. A fun, entertaining short story that meshes her Bitten by Love vampire romances, and her Ghostly Encounters paranormal contemporary romances.
  5. Growing as a Professional Artist by Leah Cutter. Came as part of a writers bundle I bought. Some good tips on dealing with being a introvert and having needs that are different than most people (creating art).
  6. Atomic Habits by James Clear. Details why and how we form habits, and how we can control which new ones we form (and get rid of bad ones).


What I’ve Been Writing: Uhhhhhh… not much. I started about a month ago with a greatly-reduced goal of 100 words/day, five days/week. I hit that for a couple of weeks, then hit a snag in the WIP. It was too easy to just set it aside, especially when the latest Tennessee trip came up and apartments took over my brain. I have still been thinking about my WIP though, and I think I see a way through the hangup, so I’m going to try getting back to the WIP. Since the new house, and all the stuff to do at the old one is still taking up a lot of my brainspace, I’m going to start back in with my easy goal of 100 words/day, for five days.

What’s been going on with you, or in your life? Do you sometimes feel that your brain is too full to be creative? How are you doing with whatever goals you might have? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

11 Responses to \

  1. Awesome pics, and awesome on the progress on the house.

    I hear you on the brain being too full. Since the beginning of this year, when I landed several new clients in quick succession, things have been chaotic. So I haven’t been writing every day like I used to. But I’m trying, and I have a goal of 350 words per day. One hundred words a day worked really well for me back in 2013 when I had a health crisis but wanted to write something per day. And I found it easier to make a small goal than a bigger one. So I’m happy that it seems to be working for you. 🙂

  2. Hey, I know all about moving brain and writing. Had it last year and I didn’t write. Not much, anyway. And if I had, don’t know how good it would have been. Probably best I took a break anyway. You got a lot going on, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get that word count in.

    Your house is really looking nice. I hope we’re able to go down there and see it someday.

    I’m still writing 500+ words a day. Had a nice writing streak going (77 days), but I missed a day for the zoo (fun!). Just means I start another one (and I have). As long as I get my 500+ words a day in, I may just get Perry’s story done this month. If not this month, next for sure. That’s the QUICKEST I’ll get a first draft written since my fifth book in 2012 (Perry is my ninth). It kind of feels great!

  3. Wow. Have you been busy! It sounds like everything is coming together for the big move. And big is an operative word in this case.

    As you know, Jennette, my husband has had multiple serious health issues over the past year. When he’s in the hospital or requiring more care–my goals are small. Fortunately things are stable right now and my goals can flex up. That’s the nice thing about this writing gig we have.

    I’ve been editing my heart out. This latest WIP had some serious balance issues. LOL It’s coming together nicely though. There will be a cover reveal and preorder reveal on Friday!

  4. What a wonderfully information-packed post! I’m eager to read a couple of the (non-fiction) books you recommended above.

    My library doesn’t have the Chronic Pain book but I feel it’s worth my purchasing it.

    I can’t believe you are managing so many property-related activities, but congratulations on all the progress you’re making. Clearing out your current house is reminding me to do some of the same at my house. Who doesn’t have too much stuff?!

  5. Wow – wow – wow!! Fun stuff is moving right along. I’m excited for you even though I hate packing and moving. But everything will be all nice and new and clean when you get to your new house. I’m loving the photos so thanks for taking the time to post them.

    Good news on the apartment front as well. Sounds like you guys are getting your ducks in a row!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. Thanks, Erin! Let’s hope the 100 words will start working for me again.

    Stacy, good going on your WIP – you know I’m looking forward to reading it! I definitely hope you’re able to stop by sometime after we move!

    Lynette Burrows, you’re right, it does seem monumental to get ready for this move. And yes, gotta keep the goals small. Good luck with your edits, you know I’m looking forward to reading!

    Lynette Benton, I think just about everyone has too much stuff, unless one’s a strict minimalist. I found Writing with Chronic Illness interesting and helpful, so I highly recommend it.

  7. Wow! The house is beautiful. It’s fun watching it all come together. That outhouse your daughter discovered is wild! Haha! Cool that she found wild roses and wild strawberries! Yum!

    You’ve got so much on your plate. I hope all goes smoothly selling the house. Buying and selling houses/apartments can be very stressful. You’ll have to celebrate big time when it’s all behind you and you’re settled into your new place.

    Our youngest daughter is expecting her first baby and is having a difficult pregnancy. I will be there for the birth if I have enough notice to get to Vegas in time. She’s due in April, but I have a feeling she’ll have the baby by the end of July. It’s a boy! He will be our 7th grandchild. Can’t wait to hold him. I’ve been going to an improv class at the senior citizens center and it’s something I never dreamed I’d be able to do, but it’s so much fun and a huge stress reliever.. So, yay!

    Thanks for the update, Jennette. It’s fun to follow your journey. 🙂

  8. Patricia, thanks so much! Yeah, I’m not looking forward to the actual move either, but it will ultimately be worth it.

    Lynn, 7 grandchildren? Wow! And congrats in advance, and hope all goes well. Thanks for all your good wishes, and have fun with the improv class!

  9. The house looks great! It’s been two months, I think, since I’ve checked in with you. What great progress on the house. I’ll have to try harder to stay in the loop. Best wishes!

  10. Chris, it’s probably been two months since I blogged, so you didn’t miss anything – and thanks!

    Thanks, Coleen!